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US: Chad rebels heading towards capital from north

The United States said rebel fighters in Chad appeared to be moving towards the capital N’Djamena and ordered non-essential staff to leave, warning of possible violence. A spokesman for the rebel Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) said its fighters had “liberated” the province of Kanem, some 220 km (136 miles) from the capital N’Djamena, but the government denied this. “The authors of these false statements are not even on the ground, but somewhere in Europe,” the government said in a message posted to Facebook. A day earlier the British government urged its citizens to leave Chad because of information that two rebel convoys on the move, one near the town of Faya, some 770 km (478 miles) northeast of N’Djamena, and another by the town of Mao, the provincial capital of Kanem. On S...

South West PDP lauds Ayo Fayose group over decision to unite party

The South West Zone of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has commended former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose over his decision and that of his Eddy Olafeso group to unite aggrieved party men and women in the region, and for prevailing on Dr Eddy Olafeso and other candidates that contested in the just concluded PDP South West Congress held in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, from challenging the outcome of the congress in court. The party’s zonal Publicity Secretary, Sanya Atofarati, in a press release he signed on Saturday and made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti, praised the ex-Governor Fayose for his maturity by yielding to calls and appeals from PDP stakeholders. ‘The outcome of the meeting held by the Fayose group in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Friday, was a good o...

Group advocates palliative for terrorism, banditry victims

A group under the auspices of Initiative for Conciliation and Right Protection has advocated for palliative for victims of terrorism and banditry to cushion the effect of the ugly trend. This is contained in a statement jointly signed by Mable Bremah, Godwin Ekoja and Halima Bukar, Assistant Secretary, PRO and Deputy Organising Secretary respectively in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday. It observed that victims of terrorism, banditry and oppressed deserved better treatment to enable such victims resettle and gradually recover from their trauma. The statement urged Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliation to collectively join hands toward ending the insecurity bedevilling the country to pave way for a better Nigeria. It observed that Nigerians were living in an unpreced...

OPC berates ex-COAS for equating group with Boko Haram

The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) yesterday berated a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, for comparing the group with the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram. In a statement, the group’s newly-elected President, Mr. Wasiu Afolabi, said the former army chief displayed a dangerous level of mischief, prejudice and narrow-mindedness by equating what it termed a pro-democracy group like the OPC with a world-acclaimed terrorist organisation. Afolabi maintained that the comments by Dambazzau were an attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it, insisting that the move will not work. “We shall not succumb to this cheap attempt at blackmail and negative profiling. OPC is not, has never been and will never be a terrorist organisation. Nobody should link us or lik...

UEFA confirms Rome as Euro 2020 host city

Rome’s Stadio Olimpico has been “fully confirmed” as a venue for Euro 2020 matches after the Italian government guaranteed the presence of at least 25 per cent of fans, UEFA announced on Wednesday. Rome was one of four of the 12 host cities threatened with having its matches removed because it could not give assurances that spectators would be allowed into grounds given the ongoing Covid-19 situation. “The authorities have guaranteed at least 25 per cent of the stadium’s capacity will be filled,” European football’s governing body said. “As a result, UEFA considers Rome to be fully confirmed as a venue for the tournament.” Three other cities — Munich, Bilbao and Dublin — have until April 19 to provide UEFA with additional information on their plans for spectators. Rome is set to host the o...

House to hold valedictory session for deceased member Ossy Prestige

Abia Facts The House of Representatives, will on April 15, hold a valedictory session for the late member representing Aba North /Aba South federal constituency of Abia State, Hon. Ossy Prestige. Younger brother to the late lawmaker, Rotarian Chuks Nnanna, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Aba, explained the event, would mark the beginning of activities for the burial of the late lawmaker. Prestige, who was serving his second term at the House on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, died on February 6 in Germany, after a brief illness. He further disclosed that there would be a walk as well as an interdenominational service in honour of the late lawmaker who would be buried on April 24 at Abiriba, in Ohafia council area. Meanwhile, a group, Old Bende Pro...

Ten killed in inter-communal violence amid protests in eastern Congo

Ten people have been killed and 34 injured in fighting between rival ethnic communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern city of Goma, a spokesman for the provincial government said on Tuesday. The clashes broke out when protests against the U.N.’s MONUSCO peacekeeping mission, which some blame for failing to end to worsening insecurity and militia attacks, descended into violence between the two communities. Attacks by armed militias and inter-communal violence in Congo’s restive eastern region have killed over 300 people since the start of the year as government troops and U.N. peacekeepers struggle to bring stability in the mineral-rich region. The governor of North Kivu province, Carly Nzanzu Kasivita, banned all public protests from Monday and called for calm. “From now o...

Israeli study: South African coronavirus variant may evade protection from Pfizer vaccine

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa may evade the protection provided by Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is very low and the research has not been peer reviewed. The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics. The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit. But among patient...

South-West PDP congress: Seyi Makinde, Ayo Fayose’s groups fight over 756 delegates

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, are to test their popularity with 756 delegates that will elect officials of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West on Monday. While Makinde is backing a former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Taofeek Arapaja, for the position of chairman, Fayose is mobilising for Dr Eddy Olafeso. Olafeso, who is from Ondo State, is a former occupant of the office. He resigned to contest the party’s governorship ticket in the last Ondo State election, which he lost to Eyitayo Jegede (SAN). Makinde had wanted the congress to hold in Ibadan, but the Fayose faction wanted it in another venue, saying the Oyo State capital was not safe for it and its supporters. However, two days ago, the National Working Committee of...

South West PDP Congress: Ayo Fayose, others reject Dino Melaye as screening chairman

A group in the South West People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has rejected the choice of Senator Dino Melaye as Chairman of the Congress Screening Committee. The group insisted on Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, earlier agreed upon by both parties, saying “the sudden emergence of Senator Dino Melaye is suggestive of a planned hatchet job.” This was contained in a release jointly issued by Fayose, PDP governorship candidates in Osun and Ogun States, Senator Ademola Adeleke and Hon Ladi Adebutu respectively as well as the immediate past Zonal Chairman and aspirant in the next Monday, April 12th, Congress, Dr Eddy Olafeso. They said “What the party told us was that Senator Abaribe will be chairman of the screening committee. “To us...

NNPC to partner Borno government to establish gas power plant

The Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alhaji Mele Kyari has said that the corporation will partner with Borno State Government to establish a Gas Power Plant following the vandalization of the national grid by insurgents which put the state almost three months into total blackout. Kyari who led a powerful delegation on a courtesy call on Governor Babagana Umara Zulum on Friday said, the Federal Government will not fold its arms and neglect the state which is been ravaged by insurgents, especially cut off from the national grid, as power is a source of income to the teaming people of the state. “We are here with my colleagues, the Head of Gas and Power Business, Engineer Yusuf Usman, Representatives of Greensville Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which is a...

Nigeria to benefit as G-20 approves extension of debt relief

Finance ministers of G-20 countries have approved an extension of debt relief for the world’s poorest nations till December 2021. David Malpass, World Bank president, made the announcement at the virtual spring meeting, on Wednesday. TheCable had earlier reported that the G-20 countries will meet this week to consider an extension of the debt freeze. The G-20, is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 of the world’s largest economies, including those of many developing nations, along with the European Union. G-20 countries had established a debt service suspension initiative (DSSI) which took effect in May 2020. Nigeria had benefited from the initiative which delivered about $5 billion in relief to more than 40 eligible countries. The suspension period which was or...